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In the Classroom > Course Overview

2. Bull's Life
Origins Training Military Service Trade Family Later Years


Because of the account book, we know that John Partridge Bull became a blacksmith with a specialty in gunsmithing. We also know, from historical study, that apprenticeships for the trades began when boys approached the age of 12. Furthermore, with John Partridge Bull's family now settled in Hatfield, Massachusetts, it's likely that his apprenticeship occurred nearby.

How do we find out for sure? Well, the investigation takes us into the records of surrounding towns...

Tracking down John Partridge Bull's Apprenticeship:

The most pre-eminent gunsmith in all of western Massachusetts was Seth Pomeroy, in Northampton, a descendant of a long line of gunsmiths beginning in Dorset, England in 1636. In order for us to see whether Bull had apprenticed with Pomeroy, we need to find a connection between the two individuals during the right timeframe (before Bull had developed his own shop).

Bull's name is found, along with 28 other names, as part of a group who "went to Deerfield August 1748." The leader of the group, the commander of the troop, was Lieutenant Seth Pomeroy (1706 - 1777). In 1748, Bull would have been seventeen years old. This would probably have been his first opportunity to enlist. By serving under Pomeroy as an enlisted man, Bull would be serving under a man whom he already regarded as a leader.

-- referenced in Robert E. McKay, ed. Massachusetts Soldiers in the French and Indian Wars, 1744 - 1755. New England Genealogical Society, 1978. p. 64.

We also find a connection between Seth Pomeroy and John Partridge Bull in Pomeroy's account books. At the age of 21, in 1752, Bull's name appears as the individual settling an account for Oliver Partridge, Bull's uncle.

-- from Account books of Seth Pomeroy, Northampton Historical Society


After exploring this section, please proceed on to the next section Military Service.


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